She used to blow the bugle as a volunteer with the Highland County Veterans Honor Guard, but now Alberta Duncan is sounding a call to arms in helping with recovery efforts for Dayton-area people hit hard by destructive tornadoes Monday night.
“We’re calling this ‘Operation Dayton Tornado Relief,’” said Duncan, a Centerville resident with connections to the Highland County community. “I made some contacts with the church that I attend, people that I know and friends on Facebook, and we came up with this plan to help these folks who in some cases lost everything they owned.”
She told The Times-Gazette that R&L Carriers of Wilmington is providing one of its semi trucks to load with supplies for Miami Valley storm victims.
The truck will be in the parking lot of Southern State Community College’s central campus in Hillsboro from 8 a.m. until noon Wednesday, June 5. Duncan said it’s her hope that the spirit of volunteerism is still alive and well in Highland County and that the semi’s 14-pallet capacity will be filled when it heads for Dayton.
The list of items needed for the relief effort includes:
• Bottled water
• Yellow-colored rubber gloves
• Large trash bags
• Food items such as toaster pastries, granola bars, fruit cups and peanut butter crackers
• Easy-open plastic containers or pouches
• Canned foods
• Toilet paper
• Toothbrushes and toothpaste
• Pet supplies
Duncan advised against bringing glass items.
Those wanting to donate money to the relief effort can go to www.thefoodbankdayton.org/donate. Indicate “tornado relief” in the memo line, since an anonymous party is matching all donations up to $10,000, Duncan said.
There will also be a container at Wednesday’s donation site for those wanting to donate cash or checks made out to “The Food Bank Dayton,” and Duncan emphasized that the entire operation will be organized in a drive-thru fashion.
“We don’t want people to have to get out of their cars,” she said. “You pull up, we’ll take the items out for you and the cadets we have helping us from Greenfield will load everything on the truck.”
The National Weather Service upgraded one of the tornadoes that tore through Montgomery County to an EF-4 classification with wind velocities near 170 miles per hour, putting it in the same league as the deadly 1974 Xenia tornado.
The weather service said a total of 20 tornadoes have been confirmed statewide during the storm outbreak of Memorial Day evening and overnight into Tuesday. The storms killed one person and injured 100 others.
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.